Verifying & Evaluating Online Sources

Verifying & Evaluating Online SourcesPractice quiz for Evaluating Websites

Can you trust the Internet? There's a lot of unreliable information on the Internet. There's also a lot of really solid, accurate information too.

How can you tell the difference? Caveat lector: Let the reader beware. To publish a factual book an author is often required by the publisher to be considered an "expert" in their field. The author will often request the help of other individuals who give feedback on his or her work. This includes other experts in the field as well as the editors from the publishing company.

On the internet, there is no such filter to guarantee that what is published is reliable, accurate or current.

It's your responsibility. Your reputation as a student or professional can be at stake. If your doctor told you that he or she is prescribing a drug based on advice by an unlicensed pharmacist who was self-taught, would you have that prescription filled?

Make sure your source deserves your trust. Always have a backup. Double-check every fact with a second source. If your source doesn't feel reliable, don't use that source.

How can you decide? There are 4 general questions you should ask about any web site:

  • Who is the author of the Web Page?
  • Is the information in the Web Page Accurate?
  • Is the Information Objective?
  • Is the Information Current?

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